Excerpts from the Manifesto of the Poor

Excerpts from Father Van der Hoff's book, which clarify his advocacy of a social and environmental neo-capitalism and demonstrate its credibility.


"I believe that a different social order is possible because capitalism is nothing more than the systematic and legal organisation of injustice, inequality and exclusion"...
"Fair trade is not simply the introduction of a social dimension into the world of the market. It means recognising the difference and establishing rules to control the violence of the economy and the market".

"The principal causes of the malaise of modernity are individualism, instrumental rationality and self-centred bureaucracy".

"There is a flaw in the capitalism of corporate social responsibility because no one is responsible... The Providence of the free market is a pure figment of the imagination. It creates an illusion used to make the excluded, the poor, peasants and beggars alike, believe in the promises of the progress of the system in the guise of a dangerous discourse defending a fight against poverty".

"Poverty does not fall from the sky. It is man who creates it, society that wants it".
"I am not against profit, but it should be controlled and distributed. The whole point is to 'democratise' it, to share it".

"I am not against globalisation as I want to globalise fair trade... I am not against globalisation but in favour of the globalisation of solidarity".

"We are not rebelling against the market as we are and want to be in the market, but a different, human, democratic and social market".

"Fair trade gives the consumer the opportunity to play a considered role in his own buying decisions".
"Charity ā€“ and let's include international aid in this ā€“ is a form of bad manners invented by those in charge of the system to compensate for what could have been done".

"The NGO mechanism is the weapon of mass destruction that justifies the free market system".

"Thanks to fair trade, peasants have finally been able to have solid roofs and walls to live in, obtain health care, a doctor, send their children to school, care for them. The poor did not beg for all this; they secured it in exchange for more fairly remunerated labour".

"Fair trade proposes the creation of social, mutually beneficial companies in partnership with socially aware, responsible consumers throughout the world... It fundamentally corrects the dominant capitalist system".

"It is quite naturally our calling to reach an understanding with small players who are constantly under the threat from the major players of losing the little that they have. It's only with small or modest partners that this can work".

"There's hope in the values put forward by the poor, those at the bottom of the pecking order, the disinherited".

"We cannot put our trust in the invisible hand supposed to regulate the markets. It does not work; it's Utopian".

"Global regulation must come from the bottom".

"In reality, everything is connected, fair trade, the environment, social and economic issues, politics and even micro-credits. To deny this is to deny life, humanity itself".